Thursday, December 5, 2013
Listening to Grayson Perry giving the Reith lectures this year was very entertaining, although reviews were mixed. One snippet I picked up on was the result of a survey that was done in various countries which asked people what sort of art they liked. The response was overwhelmingly a landscape with figures and animals in the foreground and mainly in blue. This MIGHT explain why I don't bank in Jersey or the Virgin Islands.Maybe it's because I didn't learn how to do blue landscapes with figures and animals at art school and my latest work doesn't fit into this category either.
I've embarked on a series of glue gun drawings called Pink Graffiti Lorries which, as you may have noticed, is, according to this survey, as far away from the ideal art of many people as it's possible to be. I started these earlier in the year before the Reiths - so have I got an inbuilt contrariness to comply with what people would love to have hanging on their walls?
When I was an art student an aunt asked me if I could paint her a picture. What she wanted was a seascape with (yes) horses in the fore ground and (yes) mainly in blue. I sensed a bit of beer money coming along so I started to paint. At the beginning it was a bit horsey and a bit blue, but it soon mutated into a hellish scene with a dragon - like beast in front of a blood red sky. I wasn't able to buy a round that week. Not long after, I did sell my first piece of work AND no-one told me what it should look like. So how does an artist decide what to do their art about?
Grayson Perry said that after a lecture once a student came up to him and asked him that question.He ummed and aahed for a bit and seeing that she had an i phone in her hand he said 'Well I didn't have one of those. She has access to any image or information. When I started I had none of that." As I'm a bit older than Perry I also didn't have access to the internet when I started. So, maybe, as More Mature Artists, we are not hung up on search engines and can look around and say, for example, I'm going to draw those lorries and colour them PINK!
Friday, April 26, 2013
|Acupressure Techniques Julian Kenyon,Thorsons 1987|
A friend recently contacted me saying that he had heard that wearing rose- tinted glasses can in fact help prevent or reduce the number of migraines and some research seems to indicate that it can be beneficial. Personally, if the demon light coming from an unexpected source hits me, I don’t usually have a chance of avoiding a migraine. Occasionally, if I’m really quick, the length and intensity of the attack can be reduced by clamping on to acupressure point Li4, which is in the web between thumb and first finger. I do both hands for at least a minute each.
If all artists who suffer from migraine wore rose tinted glasses when they were painting, drawing or whatever, they might well feel better but it might also make their art look better than it really is!
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I’ve just returned from being involved in a fascinatingly different art project which may very well make me look at my artistic practice in a new way.
Affecting Perception: Art and Neuroscience is an exhibition and a series of seminars. It brings together examples of work by artists with different neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Autism, Asperger syndrome and, in my case, Migraine.
I was participating in a seminar led by Cosima Gretton (one of the curators of the exhibition)with Dr Klaus Podoll of Aachen university. I was reconnecting with Klaus Podoll after some years as he has interviewed me and written about my work on many occasions since 1997. It turned out to be a very interesting and informative event, with good audience interaction. Although Dr. Podoll and I have communicated often over the years by snail mail, e-mail and fax (whatever that was), by both being in the same room and in front of an audience resulted in a different dynamic. Him commenting on my work and explaining some of the more technical aspects of migraine was somehow more exciting and real. Unfortunately, we only briefly touched on the subject of Giorgio De Chirico, one of my favourite artists and almost certainly a migraine sufferer.
The gallery is a circular building which was originally part of Oxford Castle prison It’s a challenging space to hang an exhibition, having grey walls and a staircase down the middle and quite small. But the shape and intimacy was perfect for a show to do with the brain. Even without knowing that it was to do with neuroscience, the exhibition was compelling because there was an underlying feeling that the work came from a strange place, darker in parts than others. It would have been interesting for people to have seen it under the title Affecting Perception first and then again with the words Art and Neuroscience added. I know, too difficult but in a non recession world maybe…….
The exhibition is still on at the O3 Gallery, until 31st March and the catalogue is excellent and informative reading.
It was great meeting up with Klaus Podoll again and we are going to pick up working together - on the subject of ‘elective affinity‘- once I’ve got to grips with the concept!
Congratulations to AXNS collective for envisaging and realising a ground breaking event, which I was very pleased to be part of.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
|Paint By Numbers Lorry 2012|
In France we have a fine old house, a garden for the veg, studios, nice neighbours, good light and a few little wineries who produce a good drop. Back a few years we were happy with that but then my mother-in-law intervened. Her mother was a Shetlander and my mother-in -law, being a generous person, paid for us to visit the most northerly part of the UK as a gift. Basically we fell in love with Shetland and bought a peerie hoose with the remains of our money.
I think I’ve said it before, but so many people up there are artists, musicians, writers, poets, you name it, they are in Shetland so there is a good buzzy creative atmosphere. We have just come back from over wintering there where the house is cheaper to heat and the weather was better than down south for a lot of the time. You can still get five seasons and more in one day (as Shetlanders say).
We were participating in an exhibition as part of the Veer North artists’ group that we are members of. The theme was ‘Numbers’ and it produced a good show. Either or both of us do some teaching when we are there so we don’t travel for the sheer hell of it and as part of maintaining the R’n’R stylee we do let the cottage out when we are not there.
I suppose some might think we are being greedy but working in two places does contribute to the creative juice store, so it’s no bad thing..
Yes, it’s all my mother-in-law’s fault. Maybe she wanted a Rock’n’roll son-in-law so I’m doing my best to oblige!
Sunday, January 27, 2013
It's a pity The Migraine Man triptych will not be shown in person (only as a copy) but the exhibition will include another triptych, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, which has only been seen once before. It has emerged from a dark and remote part of my studio to see the light of day in Oxford.
|Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life :1|